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Class of 1982...



The Class of 1982’s final year brought to the City College of New York its ninth president, a gigantic new building complex in the North Academic Center, five CUNY championship victories, and much success among the alumni and the faculty.

The biggest event of the year—likened to a coronation by the Microcosm—occurred in the grandeur of the Great Hall. Chosen by unanimous vote of the Board of Trustees of the City University on March 6, 1981, Dr. Bernard Warren Harleston assumed the presidency of the college on August 3, 1981, and was inaugurated in front of an audience of more than two thousand on February 18, 1982. President Harleston filled the vacancy left when President Robert E. Marshak resigned in 1979. His inauguration received passionate support all around; representatives of the students, the alumni and the university all declared their joy. New York City Mayor Edward I. Koch cheerfully commented: “Under the leadership of Dr. Harleston, City College will continue to help the children here meet the challenges of tomorrow. My Alma Mater is in good hands.” In his inaugural speech, President Harleston stated emphatically: “The education of young people should be this nation's first priority and its defense. Together we can truly make a difference.”

While President Harleston stepped in like a giant to help City College “Keep on moving up,” a new brand new building dwarfed the halls all around. The North Academic Center rises eight stories on the site of the Lewisohn Stadium at 138th St. The NAC, as it quickly comes to be known, covers three full city blocks and will house some two thousand classrooms and offices. Unfortunately, the rise of the NAC also means that Klapper, Brett, Mott, Stieglitz, and Finley Halls will face future demolition.

Even though some of City’s buildings can’t stand forever, the college’s sports prowess is surely here to stay. CCNY won five CUNY championships in the fall season. The Soccer Beavers had their best record, 10-3-2, since 1958. The team was under the leadership of Harold Damas, who was the MVP in the Met conference and an All-State selection. Lady Beaver Basketeers captured the CUNY title while their male counterparts crashed against mismatched Division I competition. The ladies won 10 of their last 11 games, finishing the season with two 5-game streaks. Freshman Lola Mills was named to the All-CUNY team. CCNY cheers proved to be supreme. The Beaverettes won the CUNY cheerleading competition, successfully defending the crown they have won every time they entered the competition. Track and Field brought CCNY a double victory. Both squads won with 5-0 records. Women's leader Stacy Williams set a school record in long jumps and qualified for the NCAA National Outdoor Championships. Swimming beavers shined again, capturing their third straight CUNY Swimming and Diving Championships. The team broke records left and right, rewriting 9 school records at the Metropolitan Championships alone. Fencing beaver Gina Faustin finished her collegiate career with flying colors by winning the NCAA Northeast Championship, the CUNY Championship, the AFLA tournament, the Christmas Invitational, and took 9th at the Nationals, earning herself an honorable mention All-America.

The faculty scored many victories as well. The National Science Foundation designated the College as a regional Resource Center for Science and Engineering. English professor Irving Malin became a member of The New York Academy of Science and The Poetry Society of America. Art professor Irving Kaufman received the Manual Barakan Award at the 1981 National Art Education Conference in Chicago while his colleague, professor Joan Price, exhibited her work at the Snug Harbor Cultural Gallery. Graced by Washington, Professor Randolph L. Braham’s book, “The Politics of Genocide: The Holocaust in Hungary,” was praised on the floor of Congress. Preparing to leave the D.C. scene for a while was his colleague, professor Joyce Gelb, who won a Fulbright fellowship to conduct research in the United Kingdom.

Many other professors were also visiting foreign lands. Asian studies professor T.K. Tong received honorary appointments from several Chinese universities. Philosophy professor Kaikjosrov D. Irani was invited to go to Bombay, India, to deliver the Government Research Fellowship Lectures for the K. R. Cama Oriental Institute. English professor Konstantinos Lardas went to Greece to collect and translate modern Greek folk songs on a Fulbright fellowship. Physics professors Kenneth Rubin went to Stirling University in Scotland on a NATO Research Fellowship. His colleague, professor Rabindra N. Mohapatra, used his sabbatical year to lecture at the Mac Planck Institute fur Physik in Munich, Germany, the University of Generva, CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research in Geneva, and the winter school in Kalpakkam, India.

Other professors were busy publishing. Political science professor Marshall Berman launched “All That Is Solid Melts Into Air: The Experience of Modernity” (Simon and Schuster, 1981) while colleague Thomas Karis wrote the chapter, “Black Challenge,” in “South Africa: Time Running Out” (University of California Press, 1981), the report of the Study Commission on U.S. Policy toward Southern Africa. Economics professor Edwin P. Reubens completed a commissioned monograph on the process of international migration. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich published history professor Conrad Schirohauer’s “Modern China and Japan: A Brief History.” Professor Walter Struve’s “The Republic of Texas, Bremen and the Hildesheim District” is coming and professor Robert Twombly was contracted to write a biography of Louis H. Sullivan. Professor Thomas Goldstein’s “Dawn of Modern Science: From the Arabs to Leonardo da Vinci” is being released in paperback and professor James Watt’s “Generations: Your Family in American History” is issuing its third edition. The English department had even more products to show: professor Arthur Ganz’s “Realms of the Self: Variations in a Theme in Modern Drama,” professor Leo Hamalian’s “D.H. Lawrence in Italy,” professor Joel Oppenheimer’s three collections of poetry, adjunct professor Sonia Pilcer’s “Maiden Rites,” and the second editions to professor Betty Rizzo’s “The Writer’s Studio” and professor William Herman’s “The Portable English Handbook.”

On a dramatic side, professor Ross Alexander’s play, “Little Mothers,” was selected by the La Mama Theater as part of its 20th anniversary retrospective festival and Biology professor Lawrence J. Crockett wrote a play entitled “A Visit to the Drapery Shop of Anthony van Leeuwenhoek of Delft Holland” and performed as the title character. Finally, the United States Tennis Association honored Women’s tennis coach Arvelia Myers with the 1981 Community Service Award for offering free tennis lessons to the youth at the Pyramid Association in Harlem, of which she is also the founder and director, for a whole decade.

The Alumni Association welcomed into its ranks Mayor Edward I. Koch, who received his Bachelor of Arts degree 36 years late, at a ceremony held in the mayor’s office in City Hall, on October 22, 1981. Mayor Koch was prevented from finishing his degree in 1943 by a draft for the Second World War.

The 101st annual Alumni Association dinner took place on November 18, 1981. This year’s Finley medal went to Abraham Michael “A.M.” Rosenthal, '49, executive editor of the New York Times. Rosenthal rose to the top of the Times from a humble start at The Campus. But he proved himself early, becoming the campus correspondent for the Times even while he was still at school. In his speech, Rosenthal declared that his “life would not have been possible without the free City College of New York,” and expressed his “deep regret” that the college has begun to collect tuition.



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